Per Hammar, with Berlin and Malmö in the south of Sweden as territory, is the captain behind his labels Dirty Hands, 10YEARS and the club instance Kiloton. Dirty Hands works as a home base and headquarter for his dustier works. Dub and dusty sounds are some of the signalements from the vinyls and tapes of the label. ”It’s ment like a safe house for the ugly, the non perfect, and works that don’t want to be polished.” states Per Hammar.
His and Kajsa Lindström’s club Kiloton has been a reliable source of quality dance music since 2010, offering the crowd of Sweden club experiences on regular basis. In 2016 he started his second label, 10YEARS, together with Maya Lourenço a.k.a Parallax Deep, celebrating their 10 years as friends and music partners. The label is planned to be the outpost for their own stripped and more electronic sounding works. 2019 he teamed up with the Amsterdam producer Malin Génie, and founded the label De Vloer, to set up a home for their dubby rolling co-productions.
In the spring of 2020, during the global Covid-19 pandemic, he released his debut album Pathfinder LP on his previously mentioned label Dirty Hands. The triple vinyl mirrors 15 years of producing and represents a wide selections of genres with everything from trance, to dub and minimal, but of course with Per Hammar’s signature dance floor touch.
In October 2021, Per Hammar played for Body Parts at their showcase in Club der Visionaere in Berlin, alongside Olga Korol, Eric (UA) and Tripmastaz.You can listen his set exclusively on our Soundcloud channel.We also had a nice chat with Per Hammar which you can read below.
How are you, how has the last year been for you?
Right now I feel really good! The time has come when I can lock myself up in the studio everyday and not feel guilty about wasting a good summer day. I love summer, but I also love to see the rain smashing on the window while pulling some cables or record something in the studio.
Are you back to playing gig now? How does it feel?How was the first one back?
I played a small festival in an old viking village in Estonia back in July. That was the first time I mixed two records in over a year. It was a sketchy 30 minutes opening but then it felt super natural to be back. It’s really like learning how to ride the bike. There’s a few brain cells who’s one and only mission is to keep that skill intact.
Tell us a bit about Body Parts for people who don’t know…
For me it’s a legendary label. For 10 years now they have been releasing proper minimal house and techno. A lot from Russian and Ukrainian producers, since that’s where the guys are from. They picked up local artists on an early stage, who are now riding on a proper career. They where super early with this kind music, long before the ”hype” came to western Europe. I did a remix for them earlier this year and I work a lot with one of the founders, Olga Korol. So when they did a label party on Club Der Visionäre here in Berlin, I was invited to play. That’s where recording comes from for this podcast.
You’ve been based in Berlin for a while now. Does it feel more and more like home?
Yeah it’s starting to feel like I’ve been around quite some time now. Although I’m in and out a lot and there’s not a lot of other cities that makes everything feel temporary like Berlin does. But in the end of the day: home is where my studio’s at.
What is the art of house music for you? Why did you first get drawn to the sound, what did you like about it?
Actually I question that my self a lot too. I got into electronic music through retro video game music in early 2000’s. Gameboy, Nintendo and tracker music. A type of music where the melody is king. Without a strong melody there’s nothing. How that genre evolved into producing 12 minutes tracks without a hook, I don’t know! I guess the music have this power. I don’t decide. I just go where I get guided to. In my case it took me to house music.
How has your style and sound evolved over the years, do you approach music in a different way now with all the skills and experience you have?
I always been watching producers and DJ’s being super confident over the style of music they work with and I’ve thinking ”oh, good for them”. It would be so nice to not worry about confusing people by changing music direction, especially since I never used any aliases. Despite that I actually stopped caring too much. To have thoughts like ”I should go that or that way” always blocked the creativity for me. I need to feel completely detached from every kind of pressure or needs if I want to get lost in a flow in studio. That’s where I feel the most happy and that’s when something good comes out of it.
And what are some of the key tools in your toolbox, do you have fav bits of hardware or software?
Using the mixer as an instrument is key for me. Jam around on it. Making the recordings come alive. Experimenting with effect chains of pedals and racks. Switching places on machines. Do routings that are wrong. Just get weird!
Where do you start, always in the same place or is it just experimenting until something works?
I normally start in the same way, yeah. Drums, groove, percussions. Then I start with effects. That’s what I like the most.Create sounds and weird vibes. Record takes that are 2-3 minutes and let it jam with the beat. I want to leave the loop as fast as possible. I barely don’t want to hear where the start and the end of a loop is. Then I can go on to make the signature of the track, so the listener actually can remember it and want to hear it again.
What makes your music unique, what do you pride yourself on when producing?
It’s so hard to say what my music sounds like. I just do what my hands and brain tells me what to do. I guess it’s dusty and dirty at it’s places. And hopefully the listener can get lost in the vibe the same way I did when I produced it.
What’s next, what else you working on?
On my label Dirty Hands there will be lot of activity in the next year. Releases and mixtapes on vinyls and cassettes. The label parties are finally back, so I hope I can keep on doing them. There will also be a follow up EP on Burnski’s Constant Black label in not too long. I’m also working as a mixing and mastering engineer for my newly started company Euromix. So for the next period of time I will keep on making good music reaching it’s full capacity. Shit loads of studio in other words.
Listen Per Hammar’s recorded set at Body Parts Showcase in Club der Visionaere on the link below.
Keep up with Per Hammar on his socials.